CDA in the year 2000 designed a programme the Integrated Tree Crops Project to specifically focus on the promotion of three important tree crops in the province; namely; (i) cashewnuts (Anacardium occidentale), (ii) mangoes (Mangifera indica) and Citrus on the lowlands and (iii) avocado and macadamia on the higher altitudes.
The Integrated Tree Crops project then began in 2000 as a USAID funded project. The main aim of the project was to improve the living standards of the rural tree crops farmers focusing on 3 major tree crops i.e. cashew, mangoes and citrus. This was to be achieved through participatory methodology whereby farmers learn by experimenting (FFS). However in 2003, the government of Kenya took up the funding initiative after USAID ceased funding. The pilot districts were Kilifi, Kwale and Malindi. Originally 270 farmers were targeted i.e. 3 groups per district each group composed of 30 members. The programme has since been embraced as one of the key programmes for CDA reaching thousands of tree crop farmers and spreading now to other districts in CDA’s area of jurisdiction.
The objectives of this project were to improve the standard of living of the small-scale poor tree crop farmers and traders in Coast Region involved in production (agronomic practices), marketing and processing of the tree crop products through improved income earnings and appropriate management of natural resources.
During the reporting period, the project had the following targets, namely,
- Establish two (2) community demonstration centres on processing fruits/nuts in Kilifi and Malindi districts to promote value addition;
- Capacity-build 850 farmers on nursery establishment, tree crops management (agronomic practices) and marketing of tree crop products in Kilifi, Kaloleni, Malindi and later Kwale districts;
- 150,000 Tree crops seedlings raised and planted.
- 2 demonstration processing units established;
- Capacity building 891 farmers on tree crops production technologies and marketing with 70 farmers capacity build on cashewnut processing;
- 168,198 Tree crops seedlings raised at Shimoni farm and planted.